The consequences of legal actions within the smartphone world have been getting extra attention lately, with the very visible effect of HTC missing launch dates due to seeing hardware held-up in US Customs. If you’ve been following such things closely, you’ll be aware that a case with even greater ramifications has been taking place elsewhere, with Oracle accusing Google of violating its patents concerning the use of Java in Android. After a lengthy trial, the jury has now returned a verdict in Google’s favor, clearing the company of these accusations of patent misuse.
While this patent victory is good news for Google, it’s not the complete story. Besides the patent issue, there have also been copyright claims to consider, and there have already been some rulings that Google’s violated Oracle’s copyright. The tricky business there is whether or not such usage falls under the blanket of “fair use”, mitigating Google’s vulnerability. The judge in the case will rule on some of those issues shortly, which will determine just how financially liable Google may be for its actions.
Ultimately, Google will end up paying Oracle something, but with the serious patent issues out of the way, it’s hard to look at today’s development as anything but a big win for Google, and by extension, the Android community.
Source: The Verge